Black on black

13 Jan

I’m working on a little black dress. You might remember from last year that this is where my “make all the things” intention ran into its kryptonite: I just could not get inspired to sew a solid black dress, and so I bought one instead.

I thought I could remedy that rather simply. I thought I could just take one of my tried and true patterns, one from this sewing challenge that resulted in one of my most oft-worn garments, and whip it up into a simple black dress. Then, I would photograph it, and post it for my readers: “ah-ha! My sewing challenge has been conquered!” I would say. “What I made a mess of in 2012, I will right in the New Year.”

Alas, here I am, a couple of weeks (and three sewing days) into the new year, with no black dress to show for it. The trouble has been a variety of things: at first, I intended to make it with French seams, so I laid all the foundation seams “wrong sides together” before realizing my chosen fabric was too thick for that. So then I ripped all the seams. Black stitches hiding tight in black fabric, inch by dark inch.

Next, I turned the (rather square-shaped) sleeve pieces the wrong way, not noticing how the dark fabric also hides the grainline, if the seamstress is not paying very close attention. Out came the seam ripper once again.

Now, I have attempted to understitch a black lining beneath a black fabric, and something is just “off”. My seam ripper is brought into service one more time, to remedy this difficulty.

So in summary: it’s not just an aesthetic difficulty, getting inspired to undertake a black sewing project. I believe it is objectively more difficult to sew, as black fabric presents inherent challenges to the process.

One day, I will post “ah-ha!” pictures. Until then, all I have to offer is my trusty seam ripper, picking out stitch by stitch.

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4 Responses to “Black on black”

  1. Vicki Kate January 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    I hope your ah-ha moment comes soon and the seam ripper can be retired for a while…

  2. Denise Toepel January 14, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    I too am working on a black item. I redesign older discards. I picked up a long line bra and thought, wow! It’s would make an awesome corset with an eyelet back cover. I have worked on it evenings since New Years, I have taken it apart ten times and put it back together 15. I was kicking myself for seeing the possibilities and then realized that to even think that was so horrible. We have vision you and I and with that wonderful gift comes lots of learning and pleasure if we can stick it out. My New Year wish for both of us is the patience and endurance to make our visions real. Good luck on your dress and I would love to share my vision (the corset) when I get it done?

    • handmadejulie January 14, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      Thank you for that encouragement! I would love to see what rewards you get for your patience, as I will share mine (if any) here. Best of luck in your re-working, it sounds wonderful.

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